I have a confession. I have made this confession known to very few, mainly due to the look of sacrilegious horror that typically accompanies this particular mea culpa. As I approach yet another birthday, and baseball season, I feel like now is the time to fess up and own this secret.
I hate Spring Training.
Oh, I celebrate Pitchers and Catchers Day with the gusto romantic addicts save for that other holiday in mid February. Pitchers and Catchers is the light following a dark winter of bleakness. Pitchers and Catchers is the signal that, soon, baseball players will be doing baseball things. After months of skull hardening roster moves, contract negotiations, and Scott Boras, what could be more welcome?
But the sunny haze of hope wears off quickly as the darkness of winter melts into the banality of Spring Training.
When I hear Frank Sinatra sing of “vainly fighting the old ennui” I imagine that he too is tired of bunting drills and the thousands upon thousands of games that spawn thousands upon thousands of stats with absolutely no meaning. Or maybe he’s been skimming the sports blogs and is tired of trite quote after trite quote. Perhaps, he does not care which hot shot prospect is tearing the cover off the ball because he knows that means diddly squat when this player faces real pitching (cough, Matt Tuiasosopo, cough).
The truth is, Spring Training is just a monotonous precursor to real baseball. The more impatient I get, the more monotonous it becomes. It’s a constant taunting reminder that everything being right with the world is just a few excruciating weeks away.
I see you, April 1st! Now, hurry up and get here.